On this day, July 16, 2005, we saw an undisputed battle between reigning undisputed middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins and Jermain Taylor. Hopkins lost his undisputed middleweight championship to Taylor via a split decision on that night, that is still debated to this day.
The fight saw many boxing writers favor Hopkins, as he started slowly but came on strong in the final four rounds. Hopkins was making the seventh defense of his WBA middleweight title, eighth defense of the WBC Middleweight Title, 21st defense of his IBF middleweight title, and second defense of his WBO middleweight title.
For the first fight, Hopkins earned $4 million, while Taylor earned $1.4 million. The fight generated 370,000 pay-per-view buys and was a huge success making $17.5 million in PPV revenue.
The unofficial "Fight Night" scale brought on by the HBO telecast reported Hopkins weighing 168 lbs and Taylor weighing 171 lbs.
The rematch was nothing like the first fight though. As Taylor soundly outpointed Hopkins in their second fight.
After defeating Hopkin, Taylor pursued a fight with the winner of a bout between Winky Wright and Sam Soliman. On June 17, 2006, Taylor fought Winky Wright at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee. The fight was competitive, with Wright winning most of the early rounds, but the bout being ruled a draw. A fight that many thought Wright should've won.
Taylor's next fights were against Kassim Ouma on December 9, 2006, and Cory Spinks on May 19, 2007. He won both fights by unanimous decision. However, the WBA announced that Taylor had lost his world title after the Ouma fight.
This would end up with Taylor facing Kelly Pavlik, who would beat him in two consecutive fights, both considered classics.
Bernard Hopkins, on the other hand, at the age of 41, made the bold decision not to retire. Hopkins moved up to the light heavyweight division and defeated Antonio Tarver. Hopkins entered that bout as a three-to-one underdog.